Friday, August 20, 2004

My life on the bench...... OR, lazy is as lazy does

I've been working for what, 5-6 years? Yup, for a lazy bum like me that's a pretty long time to be working in a cut-throat, nerdy, geeky, MUNDANE industry!! Anyway, so I guess I've kind of seen and experienced all the ups and downs that one can in the IT industry - from lay-offs and pay-cuts - to promotions and huge pay hikes..... the attrition is probably is the highest in this Industry - so I've had he opportunity of meeting new people and making new friends - and also seen good friends leave for "GREENER" pastures. Yup, I've seen it all - been there, done that.

Or so I thought.

For the last 1-1/2 years I had been involved in this Quality Assurance project for a client in cowboy-land Texas. But all projects have an end date, and so too mine came to a conclusion a couple of days back.

So now I find myself in a new situation, i.e., I currently don't have any work!! I'm on the bench - as they so call us non-workers in this industry!

No work?? Eeeks!!! No work?? Oh my God.... well that's what my team-members are saying every other minute. I kind of understand why - no one actually looks favourably upon someone who is sitting idle in this fast-growing industry. And when you are sitting idle - well, as they say, "An Idle Mind Is The Devil's Workshop".... and so the chain of thought starts:

1. I HAVE NO WORK - so I have to sit idle at office whole day.
2. If I sit idle, then I can't make a worth-while contribution to the company.
3. Sitting idle for a long period means I get paid without doing anything.
4. Me getting paid for nothing = waste of money to the company.
5. The longer this situation prevails, the more chance of me getting laid-off due to redundancy reasons.
6. So in my free time I might as well start looking for a new job.... i.e. find a new job before I get shown the pink slip.

Pathetic isn't it? And yet, can you blame the folks who think on these lines? Human nature after all.

But I am digressing - I was actually writing about myself, and not about the general population.

So here I am sitting doing "nothing" worth-while - or so the management might think... surfing whole day, writing mails - catching up with old friends, catching up with family members, making new friends at, reading a scrabble dictionary, trying to learn how to tie my long hair properly from my colleague in the adjacent cubicle....
And what about the things I need to do? Well, I was planning on learning French, learning Romanian (my brother-in-law is Romanian, so that's why), do some serious blogging (as you can obviously see), learn new technologies, blah blah blah....

My God, with a list like that, how can anyone say I was sitting "IDLE"!!!!!!!???? The lists above are, like, stuff which almost anyone would want to do on a normal day - unfortunately people are too busy updating their resumes and applying to all the head-hunters around the country to do the above.

They'll tell you, "Oh we didn't have time", or "I was busy doing you-know-what..." - well dorks YOU'RE NOT BUSY NOW!!!!

Maybe I'm different from the average Joe - maybe I think all this job-career nonsense is like a mirage - waiting to vanish the moment we try and get too close to it. So I guess I will never understand this fear that people suffer from when they're on the bench. Hell, I think this was the best thing that ever happenned to me!!

I know I'm not gonna get laid-off, so that means I actually get paid for doing "NOTHING" at the month-end. Of coure, like I said, the "NOTHING" that I've been doing is actually a helluva lot more important than the lousy stuff I did these last 1-1/2 years. Honestly.

For instance, I finally got the opportunity to write a long mail to this friend of mine in South Korea. For instance, I finally have the opportunity to read all those books lying around my house. For instance, for instance, for instance - the list is endless.

And all the morons who suffer from bench-phobia don't even understand the basic meaning of life - shit man, life isn't just about work and developing your skills or waiting for the next lousy project in the pipeline. It's about learning new things, enriching yourself - at least that's what life means to me.

Nope - I guess the impression I'm creating of myself is that of some lazy freako who has no motivation in life.... well, there are 2 sides to a coin, or so the saying goes.

So let me end this looooong blog with the 1st 2 lines from one of my favourite poems - 'Lesiure' by W.H. Davies:
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?

Do the above lines make sense to you? Well, they do to me - and I have been following them to the T. And if I have to die a "DARK, DASTARDLY DEATH" by doing "NOTHING" - then so be it. But please, I am not gonna shit my pants yellow just because sitting on the bench is taboo to the industry hot-shots. I have a life - and I'm proud of it.

Bench-sitting ZINDABAD!!!